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Glossary of Reinsurance Terms - Guy Carpenter
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Glossary of Reinsurance Terms

Accident Year Experience
Simplistically, the matching of all losses occurring (regardless of when the losses are reported) during a given twelve-month period of time (usually a calendar year) with all premium earned (regardless of when the premium was written) during the same period of time. More specifically, the total value of all losses occurring (losses paid, plus loss reserves) during the defined twelve-month time period (i.e., the date of loss falls within the time period) is divided by the Earned Premium for this same exposure period. As the experience is developing, loss reserves are used in the calculation, but the ultimate result cannot be finalized until all losses are settled. While any twelve-month period can be used to define the exposure period, the year beginning January 1 is normally used. The most accurate method uses Exposure Earned (see its definition under Earned Premium) as the denominator, whereas in practice Accounting Premium (see its definition under Earned Premium) is frequently used as a matter of convenience.
  • Calendar Year Experience: Simplistically, the matching of all losses incurred (not necessarily occurring) within a given twelve-month period, usually beginning on January 1, with all premium earned within the same period of time. Incurred losses will include the change in IBNR More specifically, the total value of all losses incurred (not necessarily occurring) during the calendar year is divided by the Accounting Earned premium for this same exposure period. Losses incurred are equal to the sum of losses paid, plus the outstanding loss reserves at the end of the year, less the outstanding loss reserves at the beginning of the year. Once calculated for a given period, calendar-year experience never changes.
  • Policy Year Experience: Simplistically, the segregation of all premiums and losses attributable to policies having an inception or renewal date within a given twelve-month period. More specifically, the total value (losses paid plus loss reserves) of all losses arising from (regardless of when reported) policies incepting or renewing during the year is divided by the fully developed earned premium for those same policies. The finally developed earned premium will always equal the written premium for those policies. Policy-Year Experience resembles Accident Year Experience in that, while the experience is developing, loss reserves are used in the calculation, but the ultimate result cannot be finalized until all losses are settled. Policy-Year Experience is different in that premiums earned from policies incepting during a one-year period of time will earn over the course of both the year of inception and a later year(s). Similarly, losses to be included will be occurring over the same extended time period. Also known as Underwriting Year.
Account Executive
The individual, either as employee of a reinsurer or a reinsurance intermediary who is responsible for all matters pertaining to the reinsurance account of a particular insurer.
Acquisition Costs
All expenses incurred by an insurance or reinsurance company which are directly related to acquiring insurance accounts (insured, or reinsured) for the company.
Administration Expenses
Costs incurred in conducting an insurance operation other than loss adjustment expenses, acquisition costs, and investment expenses.
Admitted Assets
Assets recognized and accepted by state insurance laws in determining the solvency of insurers or reinsurers.
Admitted Company
  1. An insurer licensed to conduct business in a given state.
  2. A reinsurer licensed or approved to conduct business in a given state.
Advance Deposit Premium
An amount paid by a reinsured to a reinsurer which is held for the payment of the reinsured's losses. At some time in the future, any balance in the fund remaining after paying losses and any agreed reinsurance expenses will be returned to the reinsured. Also known as a Banking Plan.
Advance Premium
The amount charged at the start of a treaty, to be adjusted later. Also known as Deposit Premium or Provisional Premium.
Adverse Selection
The conscious and deliberate submission by a reinsured company to a reinsurer of those risks, segments of risks, or coverages that appear less attractive for retention by the reinsured.
Agency Reinsurance
  1. A designation that identifies the reinsurance of one or more of an agent's policies, with the agent acting for the reinsured under its authority.
  2. A contract of reinsurance between a policy-issuing insurer and a reinsurer that concerns or is confined to business produced by a named agent of the insurer, usually generated by that agent and administered directly with the reinsurer with permission of the insurer. While there are other reasons for the practice, the usual intent is to allow an agent to issue larger policies than the insurer would otherwise permit. Usually, agency reinsurance is written as proportional reinsurance on property or other first-party insurances.
Agent Commission
In insurance, an amount paid an agent for insurance placement services.
Aggregate Excess
The reinsurer indemnifies an insurance company (the reinsured) for an aggregate (or cumulative) amount of losses in excess of a specified aggregate amount. Can be written excess of a dollar amount (e.g., $500,000 in the aggregate excess of $500,000 in the aggregate) or excess of a percentage (loss ratio) amount (e.g., 50 loss ratio points excess of 75 loss ratio points). Can also be written with an interior deductible, i.e., to apply only to losses excess of a stated dollar amount (e.g., $500,000 in the aggregate excess of $500,000 in the aggregate applying only to losses greater than $50,000 per loss).
Aggregate Extension
An extension of coverage permitting the aggregating of what would otherwise be two or more accidents or occurrences so that they are considered as one accident or occurrence for purposes of an excess of loss reinsurance. Thus, only one company retention and one reinsurer's limit of liability apply. Many variations may be used in further defining the term, e.g., the aggregating is usually tied to loss arising out of one policy during one policy period or, if not to one policy, then loss to one insured during a specified period.
Aggregate Extraction
A provision permitting a portion of what would be considered as one loss to be extracted and included as part of a separate loss. Example: an aggregate policy, where the reinsurance contract considers all loss under such a policy to be one occurrence, when one of the losses under that policy is involved in the same loss as another policy(ies) of the reinsured company. The aggregate policy loss may be extracted and combined with the other policy(ies) loss to make a more favorable claim under the reinsurance contract.
Aggregate Stop-Loss Reinsurance
A form of excess of loss reinsurance which indemnifies the reinsured against the amount by which the reinsured's losses incurred (net after specific reinsurance recoveries) during a specific period (usually twelve months) exceed either an agreed amount or an agreed percentage of some other business measure, such as aggregate net premiums over the same period or average insurance in force for the same period. This form of reinsurance is also known as stop-loss reinsurance, stop-loss-ratio reinsurance, or excess of loss ratio reinsurance.
Aggregate Working Excess
A form of per risk excess reinsurance under which the primary company retains its normal retention on each risk and additionally retains an aggregate amount of the losses which exceed such normal retention.
Alien Company
An insurer or reinsurer domiciled outside the U.S. but conducting an insurance or reinsurance business within the U.S.
Amortization Period
Synonymous with payback period, this term is used in the rating of per occurrence excess covers and represents the number of years at a given premium level necessary to accumulate total premiums equal to the indemnity.
The annual renewal date of a contract, whether the contract actually expires or is continuous. The date is usually twelve months after the effective date of the contract, but may be at some other time if the contract were written for other than one year. In provisions dealing with Run-off Cancellation, the anniversary referred to is that of the underlying policies, not the reinsurance contract.
Annual Statement
A summary of an insurance company's (or reinsurer's) financial operations for a particular year, including a balance sheet supported by detailed exhibits and schedules, filed as a public document with the state insurance department of each jurisdiction in which the company is licensed to conduct business. Also known as Convention Blank.
Arbitration Clause
A provision sometimes appearing in reinsurance treaties whereby the parties agree to submit any dispute or controversy to an unofficial tribunal of their own choosing in lieu of the tribunals provided by the ordinary process of law. Although the wording of the clause may vary, it normally provides for the appointment of two arbitrators, one selected by each party, who in turn appoint an umpire, and the decision of a majority of the arbitrators is binding on the parties to the reinsurance treaty.
As If
A term used to describe the recalculation of prior years of loss experience to demonstrate what the underwriting results of a particular program would have been if the proposed program had been in force during that period.
Association, Underwriting
See Pool.
To accept all or part of a ceding company's insurance or reinsurance on a risk or exposure.
Assumed Portfolio
The transfer of in-force insurance liability from an insurer to a reinsurer (or vice versa) by the payment of the unearned premium reserve on those policies alone, or the concurrent transfer of liability for outstanding losses under those policies by the payment of the outstanding loss reserve from the insurer to the reinsurer (or vice versa). The former is a premium portfolio, the latter a loss portfolio.
Assumption Endorsement
Another name for Cut-Through Endorsement.
Assumption Reinsurance
See Portfolio Reinsurance.
Attachment Point
The dollar amount of a reinsured company's retained risk or loss at which point reinsurance begins to apply. See Retention.
Authorized Reinsurance
Reinsurance placed with a reinsurer which is licensed or otherwise recognized by a particular state insurance department. See Credit for Authorized Reinsurance.
Automatic Treaty
An agreement between reinsured and reinsurer (usually for pro rata reinsurance, and usually for one year or longer), whereby the ceding company is obligated to cede certain risks as provided in the agreement and the reinsurer is obligated to accept. See Obligatory Treaty.

By Robert W. Strain, CLU, CPCU. Presented with the kind permission of Strain Publishing & Seminars, Inc., P.O. Box 1520, Athens, Texas 75751. This glossary appears in both Reinsurance 1997 and Reinsurance Contract Wording 1996. Both books are available from StrainPublishingInc.com. Permission is given to quote from this glossary or to reproduce it in whole or in part if the source of the quotation or reproduction is cited in the use thereof.

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